Friday, June 27, 2014

Preparations For Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy!  It's not a word I wanted to hear and certainly not something I want to go through. But, for those of us with cancer, we often don't have a choice.  

I remember how terrified I was when Mom started her Chemo back in 1980 - it certainly has changed.  But there are still so many of the same questions.  Will I be sick? Will I have a reaction to the medication? Would I be in a room by myself or with other chemo patients? Will I lose my hair and for how long?  Will I have blood level issues?

When I was told I have cancer and have to go through Chemotherapy, it didn't really sink in.  On Tuesday, June 24, I had my first meeting with my oncologist at the cancer center and let me just say - IT IS REAL NOW!!  He laid it on the line, bluntly, honestly and professionally.  Then his nurse planned out my next 3 weeks in preparation for my first cycle on July 11th.  From consults to injections to  classes - they coordinate everything for you.

Over my lifetime I have experience through myself or family members MANY types of illnesses but none of them prepare you for what lies ahead like cancer treatments.  Cancer SUCKS but so far the kindness and compassion of the medical professionals really help to calm my fears.  There is almost the sense that all these other people "have cancer with you."  That is hard to explain, but they really involve themselves in every appointment, decision and task at hand to make it easier for me.

Wednesday was a Chemo Class, Thursday was a Wig Fitting and today is a Radiation Oncologist Consult.  All of this is in preparation for what is to come.  So many people on my team!! Next week is bloodwork, B12 injections, and more testing.  The following week is surgery to place my MediPort in my chest - then the big day - July 11th we begin chemo.

And finally, as I really do not see myself as a wig type person, I did go get one last night.  It is recommended you get it while you still have your own hair - so I did.  I really think I will be in scarves and turbans more than anything but at least if I have to go out I will be prepared.  

That being said - this is NOT the wig I picked - Blondes may have more fun but I am not a blonde LOL.  We decided to have fun with the experience.  I tried on my natural hair color, blondes, even totally gray hair.

Oh boy!!
One of the biggest adjustments is still mentally - I still can't totally realize I no longer work and never will again.  My Social Security Disability Retirement was approved in May and will take effect September 1, 2014.  I still find myself at night thinking "OMG, you're still awake and you have to get up early" while the truth is... my sleeping habits have drastically changed - I am up late (really late) and I sleep until 10 or 11am (on and off like napping).  

Physically it is all coming together.  The pain is much better now that the chest tube is out but overall there is still pain from the incision and surgery in general.  And of course, I get out of breath VERY easy.  The one thing I miss the most is cooking.  I try to cook quick little things and cannot get over how exhausting it is.  Time. That will heal all and hopefully I will be cooking again very soon :)

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